Even though Intel says it plans to appeal against the EC ruling last week that may cost it almost a billion pounds, experts are already saying the judgement could leave the company open to civil suits as well.

The European Commission case over Intel's secret payments to PC builders in the hope they would favour it over AMD resulted in the massive fine, but that may not be the end of the matter.

All aboard

Competition law specialist Alan Davis says the fact that the sole complainant was AMD suggests other chip makers will step up to have their say too.

Speaking to PC World, Davis said: "This will open the floodgates for competitors to sue... without question they ... will pursue a case for damages."

EC pockets lined

As for why a civil case is likely, he explained: "The fine goes to the European Commission's coffers, not to the competitors who suffered damage to their businesses because of Intel's anti-competitive practices."

Intel has previously been found guilty of antitrust practices in several countries, including Japan and Korea.